Congress on Syria

Thursday, September 05, 2013

John Dickerson, chief political correspondent for Slate, discusses the reasons Congress members would be for and against military action in Syria and the possible outcomes of the Congressional vote.


John Dickerson

Comments [21]

@Siahro The motivation for my question was not centered around the word "belief" (that's another discussion). The overarching query was to find out who you think used WMD while trying not to ask a leading question (It doesn't make sense to me that the rebels would use chemical weapons on themselves and the number of potential culpable parties is limited). I'm trying to gain an understanding of why those whore are strongly opposed to Syrian intervention hold that position.

Sep. 05 2013 11:11 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ RUCB_Alum

Where is your source for this Sarin info? You keep parroting this same false info on every thread. Link to it. BTW, I love this line:

"There is little doubt but as yet no proof..."

110% American! A+++

Sep. 05 2013 11:06 AM
Matt from Newton, nj

The debate is polarized between using a military strike and doing nothing. I am opposed to the strike but I think that we should be helping refugees at the border, especially children and families. For us clearly it is a diplomatic issue. But at least if we are going to debate let it be between a military strike and something constructive- as opposed to doing nothing which is just as immoral as an attack.

Sep. 05 2013 10:36 AM

The U.S. did such a good job of controlling the flow of arms with tens of thousands of boots on the ground and turning a secular country into an abyss of sectarian violence, so why would anyone question their ability to conduct a fruitful bombing campaign in Syria.
I lived in Syria and spent a month in Iraq last year, so I am deeply opposed to U.S. military intervention.

Sep. 05 2013 10:35 AM


I don't think its a matter of who I BELIEVE, or who the White House BELIEVES used chemical weapons. Belief is not definitive nor based on fact. I want PROOF. We obviously have proof that there were chemical weapons used, yet we have no evidence it was from the Syrian Regime and we have not presented any evidence to the UN that is was them. Russia however has provided evidence both sides of the war have used chemical weapons. I want facts and I want more information presented the public. The administration needs to stop polarizing this debate and show us the facts.

Sep. 05 2013 10:30 AM
Fuva from Harlemworld

This country's civil war was its bloodiest and deadliest. Would a foreign country have been justified in intervening on either side? Is this a valid question?

Sep. 05 2013 10:28 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

Syrian relief groups are stating that "only" 500+ people have died, 80-100 children.... and no evidence that assad used chemical weapons..... Russians, unlike the U.S., have provided evidence that opposition forces used chemical weapons.... Obama is a joke, as well as his sec. of state and sec. of defense.... idiots

Sep. 05 2013 10:27 AM

I don't think that the caller had an isolationist mentality at all. Isolationism does not mean a country is picky about what international affairs they get involved in nor does it mean that in order to not be isolationist you need to jump into every international affair possible. Why can't we be involved in a political way? Why can't we stopped shipping weapons to the Arab peninsula? Why is military intervention the only way to stop whats going on? I think it's absurd that this is the only method of intervention coming out of the White House. It sounds to me that our administration is trigger happy and that they want to keep their expensive weapons from collecting dust. Let's be real, the American people are sick of playing police for the middle east, we need better options.

Sep. 05 2013 10:25 AM

heres what will happen...
1) Congress votes no
2) Obama attacks anyway
3) doesn't work
4) send troops in

this caller Finn should suit up and go over and help

Sep. 05 2013 10:24 AM

@JoeCorrao and siahro -

There is little doubt but as yet no proof that the gas attack that killed 1,400 on 8/21 originated from the government side, not the rebels. Both sides have used chemical weapons in smaller attacks. The rebel-side sarin does not contain the stabilizers that would allow the chemicals they produce to be stockpiled. We all need to wait until a definitive conclusion can be made.

We may be waiting a long time.

Sep. 05 2013 10:24 AM

Siahro, may I ask who you believe used chemical weapons?

Sep. 05 2013 10:23 AM

Did the hostess just call a possible WAR with Syria a DISTRACTION.


Sep. 05 2013 10:22 AM

Immigrant caller is an isolationist? Ironic.

Sep. 05 2013 10:20 AM

There is still not hard evidence that the Syrian regime used these weapons. Russia has reported to the UN that they have evidence chemical weapons were used by the opposition. What are we going to do? Bomb everyone in Syria?

Sep. 05 2013 10:18 AM

its not "Hypocrisy" he never intended to end any wars.

Sep. 05 2013 10:17 AM
George from NYC

Please ask the guest why the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. (Samantha Power) is not the Administration's Point Person on this critically important matter. She wrote what may be "THE" book, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for documenting the abysmal historical global (lack of) response to mass killings since the Armenian Genocide perpetrated on Christians by the Young (Muslim) Turks in 1915 !?!?!?!?

Sep. 05 2013 10:11 AM

No one really doubts that chemical weapons were used, but there is doubt WHO used. The weapons inspectors won't be able to tell who used just what was used. Are you really this misinformed?

Sep. 05 2013 10:10 AM

Isolationist? Rand Paul and Ted Cruz aren't isolationists. You're an expert on what exactly? Cheerleaders.

Sep. 05 2013 10:08 AM

I want the al-Assad government punished for using chemical weapons. I do not want the U.S. involved in a ground war in Syria. I don't really want them involved in an air war. The perfect option is one where we can take away the regime's chemical weapons stockpiles production facilities but if we hit him hard enough to take these away, the current leadership is likely to lose.

At least whoever replaces him WILL NOT have chemical weapons and this stockpile is less likely to fall into the wrong hands.

Sep. 05 2013 10:07 AM

The Brown Moses blog ( has been meticulously evaluating data on weapons used in Syria quite a while. The latest post is skeptical of claims that rebel forces have used chemical weapons.

Sep. 05 2013 10:04 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The Catholic and Orthodox bishops of Syria and the general area, who are being persecuted, are begging President Obama NOT to intervene. Here is a group of Trappist nuns in Syria:

The members of a small community of Trappistine nuns in Syria recently posted their reflections on the situation there.

“All has been destroyed: a nation destroyed, generations of young people exterminated, children growing up wielding weapons, women winding up alone and targeted by various types of violence,” they said, according to a translation published by Catholic World Report. “Families, traditions, homes, religious buildings, monuments that tell and preserve history and therefore the roots of a people…all destroyed.”

The nuns added:

Will they make us breathe the toxic gases of the depots they hit, tomorrow, so as to punish us for the gases we have already breathed in?

The people are straining their eyes and ears in front of the television: all they’re waiting for is a word from Obama!

A word from Obama? Will the Nobel Peace Prize winner drop his sentence of war onto us? Despite all justice, all common sense, all mercy, all humility, all wisdom?

The Pope has spoken up, patriarchs and bishops have spoken up, numberless witnesses have spoken up, analysts and people of experience have spoken up, even the opponents of the regime have spoken up…. Yet here we all are, waiting for just one word from the great Obama? And if it weren’t him, it would be someone else. It isn’t he who is “the great one,” it is the Evil One who these days is really acting up.

The problem is that it has become too easy to pass lies off as noble gestures, to pass ruthless self-interest off as a search for justice, to pass the need to appear [strong] and to wield power off as a “moral responsibility not to look away…”

Sep. 05 2013 08:12 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.